Dungeon Siege III Previews

WorthPlaying and The Examiner have both conjured up new previews of Dungeon Siege III, courtesy of the hands-off demonstration that Obsidian ran with at last week's E3.

A bit from WorthPlaying's article:
In the demo, the developers were quick to point out some of the elements they had carried over from the old games. The idea of major loot drops is still there, and the basic combat system in this early stage still plays like the original did. The combat has been tweaked, though, as the idea of stances is now thrown in. Different stances dictate what kind of attack you'll be able to unleash, so you'll be constantly switching depending on if you wanted to get in some crowd control with more quick, wider hits or if you wanted to focus on killing quickly with slower, more powerful hits. The class system also makes a return, though the demo only showed off the Guardian and Archon classes. The developers have also promised that each class will have unique attacks and equipment unique to their class but, again, we didn't see much of this in the E3 demo.

There are also a few new things added to the world. The game now features a drop-in/drop-out co-op system that is active at any time. The second player can always come in as any character class he wishes, but depending on when they jump into the story, the option to play as an important NPC also opens up. The loot inventory is shared among the whole party no matter who picks up the item, and while it will always be up to an actual player character to pick up items, CPU players can pick up any gold pieces once combat is over. The demo also showed off a dialogue tree that had a few response choices added to it. While the demo didn't show off much about the dialogue tree, the developers informed us that, like most current RPGs, the tree response choices would dictate other characters' standings with you and whether or not they would give you access to certain quests or join you later down the line.

And a snip from The Examiner's article:
Loot has always been a large part of titles like Dungeon Siege, and there will be plenty to pick up. When an enemy is defeated loot is dropped on the ground in the shape of whatever kind of armor or weapon it is and the player has the option of picking them up. Text will be displayed when you get close to the dropped items to give you an idea of how rare as well as the value of certain items so that the player can choose whether or not they want to pick up them up. One thing that some of the other writers did ask about was the pack mule that many gamers will remember from the other games, instead of having the mule to carry your loot the unused character will be used to carry your extra loot for you.

One thing that they wanted to do was make the world of Dungeon Siege III much more open, giving the player more things to explore and the option to backtrack to previously visited areas, than the previous titles. Obsidian also wanted to cut down on the amount of dialog that we are accustomed to seeing and focus more on the action and game itself, so while the character will still make much of the decision making there will be fewer cut scenes with long dialog than we may be used to seeing from them. One thing you may recognize from Obsidian though is the use of the dialog tree, which is actually shaped like a tree this time, in which players will choose their dialog option.